Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cramer's irrational efficiency opposition

So rather than an April debate between House candidates Berg & Pomeroy, we will get a debate between the PSC candidates Crabtree & Cramer. Today the Forum papers in Fargo & Grand Forks treated readers to an article highlighting a difference between those candidates.

Of course I know I live on the western side of the Red River, and in North Dakota there are more friends to made with a full-on embrace of fossil fuels as opposed to talking negatively about them. The official version may play up how smart, friendly, and good-looking North Dakotans are, but I assume most people do accept that coal and oil have been at least a factor in the current relatively good economic conditions in the state. That however does not mean that worshipping the cash cow is the path to pursue. Well, unless that cash cow is all you care about - maybe this hypothetical you also don't want a very peaceful world lest the Air Force base have to close.

Anyway, as someone around these parts who hopes against catastrophic climate change I cannot expect someone prominent to push all that strongly against fossil fuel use. Crabtree at least though has some sensible ideas and positions, whereas it is not clear whether Cramer is running for office in 2010 or 1910.

The article basically points out that Crabtree favors greater energy efficiency while Cramer is apparently not interested in that. Of course the scare tactic Cramer uses to oppose energy efficiency is that there might be some cost to somebody today. I am almost surprised he does not say that efforts to lower energy use take away freedom.

Cramer favors "demand side management" rather than less usage. Along those lines, Cramer would not think you should get a vehicle with better gas mileage, you should just try to buy gas on cheap days. Does Cramer think that CO2 emissions from a coal plant have less of a greenhouse effect when the power cost to the consumer is lower like during low-demand nighttime hours? Obviously that is a silly question - I am far from certain that Cramer even accepts that greenhouse gas emissions are driving climate change.

Cramer also apparently is concerned about efficiency measures meaning that some people will have to subsidize other people when it comes to energy use, or in this case, less thereof. That is quite laughable considering Cramer's leave-no-fossil-carbon-unburned stance where today's children and grandchildren plus future generations are subsidizing our current "cheap" energy.

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